Double podium for Lawson in Germany puts Kiwi driver into 2nd in DTM Championship
Liam Lawson has continued his impressive debut in the DTM Championship, bagging two more podiums in the latest two races at Lausitzring in Germany.
The 19-year-old rookie had now scored three podiums in the opening four races of the season.
Driving the Red Bull-backed Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo he finished runner-up in both races and is now just 4-points adrift of the series lead.
Lawson followed home the Mercedes-AMG of Maximilian Gotz in Race 2, finishing in the same position he’d qualified earlier in the day.
“With the weight we had in the car I think second was the maximum for today,” said Lawson at the finish.
The top three drivers in each race carry additional weight into the following race, so Lawson’s 2nd place in Race 1 meant his AF Corse team Ferrari carried an additional 18 kgs.
The Red Bull Junior driver snatched P2 in a last minute dash of the final qualifying session of the weekend and then hustled his way into the lead of the race on the opening lap with a breath-taking door-to-door battle with Race 1 winner and polesetter Philip Ellis, who’s Mercedes-AMG had an extra 25 kgs of ballast on board.
“At the start when I got the lead I thought we could possibly win. I knew that the start was the only opportunity to get to the lead. I knew both me and Philip had all that extra weight so I tried.
“Once we got it done it was all good, we had sort of control of the race but unfortunately I stalled in the pit lane and that’s where I lost the lead to Kelvin. From there on it was a struggle.”
Lawson’s chance to get back in front came soon after when the engine of Kelvin van der Linde’s Audi suddenly cut-out and the Red Bull driver was through into second place. But the young South African hounded his Kiwi rival all the way to the chequered flag.
“Lucky Kelvin had the issue and from then on for about 20 laps I was just defending for my life. Happy with the points,” said Lawson.
Lawson converted a 5th place qualifying in Race 1 into a podium with the help of a lightning fast pit stop by his team. He was originally shuffled down on the opening laps to 9th but recovered several spots with some forceful overtaking maneuvers.
The two runner-up podiums from the two races gave Lawson a better points haul for the weekend than the championship leader van der Linde. The pair are now on 69 and 65 points respectively. Ellis sits third in the series on 48 points with Gotz on 46.
Lawson’s first podium was victory in the first race of the season when he became the youngest ever race winner in DTM history.
The DTM Championship resumes in a fortnight at the Zolder circuit in Belgium.
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Liam Lawson scored two 2nd placings at Lausitzring to move into 2nd place in the DTM Championship. (Photo: Red Bull Content Pool)
Race 1 Lausitzring, Germany (Top 6)
1. Philp Ellis (Mercedes-AMG)
2. Liam Lawson (Ferrari 488 Evo)
3. Mike Rockenfeller (Audi)
4. Kelvin van der Linde (Audi)
5. Alex Albon (Ferrari 488 Evo)
6. Lucas Auer (Mercedes-AMG)
Race 2 Lausitzring, Germany (Top 6)
1. Maximilian Gotz (Mercedes-AMG)
2. Liam Lawson (Ferrari 488 Evo)
3. Kelvin van der Linde (Audi)
4. Philip Ellis (Mercedes-AMG)
5. Sheldon van der Linde (BMW)
6. Marco Wittmann (BMW)
DTM Championship Points (Top 6)
1. Kelvin van der Linde 69
2. Liam Lawson 64
3. Philip Ellis 48
4. Maximilian Gotz 46
5. Alex Albon 31
6. Marco Wittmann 28
Calendar 2021 – DTM:
18-20 June: Monza, Italy
23-25 July: Lausitzring, Germany
06-08 August: Zolder, Belgium
20-22 August: Nurburgring, Germany
03-05 September: Assen, Netherlands
01-03 October: Hockenheimring, Germany
* dates tbc Norisring, Germany